SEARCH REVIEWS    LIVING WITH LATE FEES    FEATURES    LINKS    BIO    MISSION    EMAIL    MAIN PAGE >


Iron Man Mark III
Hot Toys

Iron Man Mark III sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark III sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

It's taken forever - or at least it seems that way to me - but I finally received my Hot Toys Iron Man Mark III sixth scale action figure from Sideshow. As you might expect, I have the MKII and MKI suits on pre-order as well.

Hot Toys first started shipping these to various international retailers back in February, but Sideshow (the official US distributor) just started sending out their orders in the last couple weeks.

As you'd expect (this is a Hot Toys figure after all), he's not cheap. He runs anywhere from $140 - $180, depending on the retailer, and most places are in the $160 range. I do have several sponsors that are carrying him, and one is below $150!

UPDATE: The Mark II is now shipping, and I have my review up as well!

Packaging - ****
Wow. This is easily the coolest package I've ever seen. It's similar to Sideshow's Star Wars packaging, because it uses magnetic closures and wraps around the box. But Sideshow's only wraps around the two sides and the front - this cover wraps around the box entirely! That means you get a full inside panel the size of both the front and back of the box, along with both narrow sides. There's a ton of text and photos included, and it's a fantastic presentation.

On the center of the front cover is a die cut hole, which allows the silver chest symbol to stick through. This symbol is then incorporated both in the open and closed appearance of the package.

Oh, and it pretty much goes without saying that it's completely collector friendly. No tape, no twisties, no string, no rubber bands - absolutely nothing to stop you from opening it up, taking it out, and returning it later without any damage at all to this beautiful box.
Iron Man Mark III sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark III sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark III sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark III sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark III sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark III sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark III sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark III sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

Sculpting - ****
If you own either the Hot Toys Endoskeleton or the Robocop, you know what amazing engineering feats Hot Toys is able to pull off. As good as though two figures are, the articulation and design of this outfit is even more amazing.

The armor is sculpted to work with the various joints extremely well, and yet looks just like the on screen version. He suffers from the one issue all Iron Man figures do - he's a tad skinny for a guy wearing a suit like this over his body - but the detail and quality is so outstanding, that I'm more than willing to over look it that relatively minor issue.

One reason it is relatively minor is that the internal proportions are so well done. The head to body, arms and legs to torso, hand and foot size, and other ratios all are just about dead on and extremely realistic.

The smooth metallic look of the suit is broken up by small rivets, plates and screws. There are opening panels on his forearms that expose the small rockets, as well as panels on the back of his calves that show off the internal pistons and mechanics. The detail work here is amazing, and I've included a close up of the calf to show the extreme detail, right down to the tiny sculpted wires.

They've included a second head sculpt of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. The realism of the work, much like their other recent releases, is downright scary. The textured skin, subtle facial hair, and realistic eyes are a sight to see.

I will admit though that the likeness to Downey is off *slightly*. It's mostly the nose that's throwing it a bit for me, but this is a very minor issue.

Paint - ***1/2
The quality of the paint work on the armor is top notch, with no slop, no bleed, and no poor cut lines. Most impressive are the small details, particularly the hidden wiring and pistons under the movable panels.

The color seems a bit off to me though, hence the slight drop in score. The red is very dark, darker than it appears in photos. It should be darker than say, a candy apple red, but I compared it to the 1:1 prop replica helmet red and it's still a bit darker.

EDIT: One of my readers (Thanks, Andrew!) has one of the cool Rittenhouse Archives trading cards that has a piece of the actual suit embedded in it. He thought the Hot Toys suit was a bit dark to until he compared them, but they are actually dead on. Score one for Hot Toys, zero for those of us with less than perfect color vision.

Articulation - ****
There's so much articulation here, and so much of it is unique, that it's almost impossible to explain it all.

The easy joint is the ball jointed neck. The movement is pretty good, although I couldn't get it quite as far back as Jeff Parker did in his review photos. The very last photo at the bottom of the page shows him in a flying pose resting on the included display stand, and as you can see, I couldn't quite get the neck back far enough. But since Jeff had better luck, your mileage may vary.

The shoulders are complex pin/post ball joints with articulation on both sides of the ball that allow for a tremendous range of movement. The shoulder armor is also articulated, both where it attaches to the shoulder, and at the mid-point where the two pieces of shoulder armor attach to each other! Pin joints like these utilize metal pins, rather than plastic, to make them even more sturdy.

The elbows are single pin, and the wrists are basic ball/socket ball joints, but the elbows have such a wide range of movement, that this is enough for just about any arm pose.

Because of the light up feature, there's no waist or ab-crunch joint, which is the only real limiting factor on the overall body. But because the light up feature works so well and looks so good, it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. EDIT: I have it on good authority that it is possible to move the ab and waist joints...but I'd be really, really careful doing it. Mine are stuck solid, and I don't want to risk damaging him.

The hips are excellent ball joints, and the ball rotates both in the pelvis, and in the thigh. They are clicky style joints too, which helps lock them into place.

The knees might appear to be single pin at first, but they are actually a fairly unique type of joint where a section of knee is actually buried in the leg. As you move the knee, this section is exposed, making it possible for the leg to move quite a way backwards but maintaining a terrific look.

Perhaps the best joint system in the whole body is the ankles. These are very complex. There's a swivel joint that allows the foot to move side to side and back and forth, so that the foot remains flat on the floor in even deep stances. There's also a half foot joint, and the various armor flaps that hang down around the foot are jointed to allow them to move up out of the way.

While it is not typical articulation, there are also flaps that open on the back for flight, as well as flaps on the forearms that open to lift up the rocket launchers, and flaps on the calves that expose the interior pistons. Be careful with these, as they are more delicate than the other joints.

The level of articulation here is amazing, and almost all of it is extremely well hidden. It's truly an outstanding piece of engineering, the likes of which you rarely see in toys or collectibles, even in this price range.

Accessories - ***1/2
I mentioned the additional Tony Stark head in both the sculpt and paint sections, but it's also a big reason for the good score here. Getting the extra head sculpt really adds a lot to a character like this, since now it's quite easy to pick up an extra True-Type body(around $25 - $30), grab a suit from someplace like Triad Toys (around $40), and you have yourself a great looking Tony Stark on the shelf next to your Iron Man.

He also has two extra sets of hands, above and beyond the fists he comes wearing. Both of these sets are open, with light up palms. One set has the fingers splayed wide, while the other set has them curled in slightly.

The head and hands swap extremely easily. Because of the light up feature, the posts are a permanent part of the body, and are much thicker and sturdier than usual. Of course, it means that the head and hands aren't quite as articulated, but I mentioned that in the previous section.

Light Up Feature - ****
Iron Man lights' up with bright LED lights at four locations - eyes, chest, and both palms. These four locations are controlled by three switches. There's a small switch (very small, but very sturdy) on each forearm for the palm lights, and there is an equally tiny switch on his back under the his left flap that controls the light for both the eyes and chest.

The various areas light up via plastic 'tubes' that carry the bright light to the respective spots. Since the hands and head are removable, these tubes are the actual posts that they fit over.

The lights are very bright, and very even. What impresses me is that even though they are very bright, there's no spill around the joints. For example, none of the light that illuminates the eyes spills out around the neck.

The lights look terrific, even in normal room lighting, and add quite a bit of value to this expensive figure.

Outfit - N/A
Unlike most HT sixth scale figures, there's no actual costume here. The body is sculpted plastic, and while the various flaps and panels open, nothing comes off.

Fun Factor - ***
I might be a little generous here, since this isn't a toy. Not at all, not by any stretch of the imagination. You should pose and manipulate him with extreme care. He's not going to fall apart in your hands, but there are tiny parts, hinges and clips that can be broken with a heavy hand.

But he's still damn fun, even if you aren't a kid. If you are looking for something in this scale for your eight year old, go with the Repulsor Iron Man instead. He's not great, but really the only available IM in this scale right now.

Value - **1/2
Yep, he's expensive - but there's plenty of good reasons for it. He's an amazing piece of engineering, much like their earlier Endoskeleton and Robocop. Oh, you aren't going to feel like you got a deal, but you won't feel like you overspent either.

Things To Watch Out For
The joints seem very sturdy, and the heads and hands swap easily, so there should be no issues there.

But the small pins and plastic flaps on the back, forearms, and calves are a bit more fragile, and I managed to break one of the two flaps on the back of his ankle. So take some care when opening and closing them, or when positioning the feet.

Overall - ****
If you're looking to take my Best of 2009 in the 12" - 18" range, then you're looking at the figure you have to beat. That's not to say that there aren't some contenders coming this year - including Hot Toys Hellboy - but it's not going to be easy to take the spot from this guy. Then again, I like the look of the Mark II suit from the film even better than the Mark III, so maybe he'll be beat by his own predecessor!

The articulation, sculpt, and light up feature are outstanding, and even though he's not cheap, you're getting your money's worth.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ****
Accessories - ***1/2
Light Up Feature - ****
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - ****

Where to Buy -
Sponsor options include:

- Sideshow is where I got mine, but they are on waitlist right now. They're $160.

- Things From Another World has a great price at $144.

- CornerStoreComics has him for $170.

- Urban Collector has him at $180.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've had my share of Iron Man related reviews:

- I have also reviewed the excellent MKII.

- I had a guest review of this Hot Toys MKIII figure back when it first hit international retailers.

- there's the very cool little 3 3/4" Marvel Universe version.

- the not quite as cool 12" Repulsor Iron Man.

- a couple 6" movie figures.

- the ML Silver Centurion version, as well as the Ultimate version.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!


Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  My score converted to a five star system for comparison: 5

Share this review with others! 
  Digg it!    StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!      Reddit

Iron Man Mark III sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark III sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys



Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2000 - 2008, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour Hosting.com